The first water heater was invented in 1868 by Benjamin Waddy Maughan. Before the invention of the water heater, hot water for a bath was a time consuming luxury. Anyone wanting a bath had to heat the water in small batches over an open fire or on a stove and transfer them one by one to a bathtub. Maughan called his instantaneous water heater, the “gas geyser”, it employed natural gas to heat the water as it flowed into the tub. The geyser didn’t have a flue to vent gas vapors, so it was dangerous to use. Maughan’s design inspired mechanical engineer Edwin Ruud a Norwegian immigrant to the US to patent his automatic storage water heater in 1889. Ruud’s water heater was a cast iron appliance with a copper heat exchanger. When the water faucet was opened , an actuator valve turned on the heat burners. In 1897 Ruud opened a company in Pittsburg, PA. The Ruud Manufacturing Company became an industry leader in the first water heater products. De Hart Plumbing, serving Manhattan Kansas, Junction City Kansas and Wamego Kansas.
The First Water Heater
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